Diaper Bag Tutorial

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I have scoured the internet in search of a good diaper bag and almost bought the JJ Cole Satchel Diaper Bag. It wasn't in stock when I ordered it and I ended up deciding to cancel my order and look for something better.  I absolutely love and covet the Kate Spade Stevie Diaper Bag but at over $400, it's way over my budget for a bag.


I found this mini-tutorial for making your own version of the Kate Spade and thought I'd try my hand at it. My local JoAnns didn't have any striped fabric in the canvas material and I was impatient so I just got this cute grey and coral canvas fabric and some coral polka dot fabric for the lining.   I might still order some striped fabric online and make another one since I just love the look of the striped bag.



First I started cutting my pieces.  I don't usually use patterns and this tutorial wasn't too specific so I mostly kind of made it up as I went along.  The whole thing took me about 6 hours and really wasn't too hard to do. 
I messed around with sizing ideas until I had what I thought was a good size. The bag turned out a bit bigger than I thought it would but I think I will end up loving the size. 



I started out with 2 rectangle pieces in the canvas and 2 in the lining for the main sides of the bag. 
Mine measured 16" x 20".  Then I cut 4 pieces for the sides of the bag - 16" x 7", and 2 Pieces for the bottom - 20" by 7".  Pardon the cell phone pictures.



With the main pieces, I wanted a curved top so I really kind of just messed with it until I liked the look of the curves.  These curves were cut into all 4 main pieces.  


Now I had to plan for the pockets.  I wanted 2 bottle pockets on the outside of the bag. I laid some fabric over one of my bottles and kind of guesstimated the sizing and adding a little extra.  It's better to cut extra than too little. Mine ended up being big and in the end I cut those pockets down a few inches in height.  With the cuts the 2 pocket pieces (and lining) were sized about 8 1/2" x 7". 8 1/2" was for the width. 


When you sew on the bottle pockets, you have to add elastic to the top and you pleat the bottom so that the bottle is held in place. 


For the inside pockets I mostly used the leftover fabric pieces and laid them flat on the different lining sides until I thought there'd be enough pockets.  I ended up with 2 side pockets inside, 2 large pockets on one main panel inside and a large pocket on the other main panel. 


I don't know the measurements since I was really just using up my leftover fabric and lining.  Some of the pocket pieces are canvas and some are the polka dot. 


I wanted a zipper on top of my bag, so I just took 2 long pieces and sewed them to the zipper and to the lining at the top of the bag. 





That was pretty much all the pieces, and so then I had to sew them all together.  I wanted my lining to have clean edges so I essentially sewed 2 bags and then put them together.  I first sewed the inner pockets to the individual lining pieces and then sewed them together face to face so they'd have nice seams.  On the outside, I sewed the bottle pockets to the side panels and then sewed the panels all together face to face so I ended up with 2 bags.  I then sewed in the zipper to the lining at the top. Clearly I am bad at tutorials since I have no pictures for these steps! I then put the bags face to face and sewed along the top of the bag, making sure to leave a gap to turn the bag inside out.  


I sewed along the edge once it was turned to close the hole and to have nice flat finished edges. 
I later ended up taking out some stitches and adding a flat panel of cardboard covered in vinyl so the bottom would be firm and it would have a better shape.  I also created handles out of black vinyl and sewed them to the peaks of the main panels while adding some small pleats.  


Because I sewed the lining separate from the outside of the bag, the lining was too loose inside and so I tacked down the corners by hand sewing a few small stitches through the four corners to hold it in place.  


It is really roomy inside and it's perfect for holding baby stuff and camera equipment.  I'm using it for my hospital bag and it fits so much! I think it turned out pretty cute and I love the colors. 


Jesse clearly likes it too  and wanted to model it for me.  I think he was just trying to show off his muscles. :) 


PS - That cute polka dot bow was made by my sister Rosemary. She is awesome and super crafty. 




3 comments :

Amy said...

Impressive! And SUPER cute! Good luck with everything!

Chantell said...

I thought I commented on this but I love it! I've been saying I'm going to make one because of how many things I have to put in none fit what I need! Anyway, I think you've inspired me to get on it and make something similar! Sod you get the vinyl at Joanna too?

kirstin @ kojodesigns said...

Super cute- I LOVE the coral fabric!

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